GPS/geotag built-in, lightweight, best bridge Camera for adding Bird photos to INat–recommendations please
I hope you don’t mind me piggy-backing off of your post, but I’m also curious about the same kind of camera, but for the opposite purpose: close up (macro) instead of far away. GPS would save me a ton of time, lol. If this isn’t allowed someone please let me know :)
https://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras#! This is a very comprehensive camera review site. For the first query it show 7 cameras.
There’re many previous topics on bird cameras, check them and choose cameras with gps.
posting this largely as a reminder to myself to check in later on and see what recommendations are made. I used a Nikon Coolpix S9700 for about 7 years and although the small LCD screen made it a bit difficult to track birds at full zoom (30x), it did a pretty decent job for a pocket camera and the GPS tagging was solid. Alas, I exhausted the poor lens zoom gears and that camera finally failed at the start of summer. Being the big spender that I am, I found an even older Nikon, a larger “bridge” camera with GPS, the P510. Meh, it’s okay. The brief amount of research I did into newer bridge cameras suggested that GPS capability is not as readily available as it was before. I’ve used a few work around at times such as tagging the photos using a GPS track (recorded on a Garmin GPS unit, although there are phone apps that could accomplish the same purpose). Or in the case where I just take a few photos at one stop, I might just open the iNat app on my phone, create a new observation with no media, then wait to upload. When I get home I upload the obs from my phone, then edit it on my computer to add the photo and edit the species. Being able to just stick the SD card in the computer and create observations right from there is easier. I know none of this was part of your question, I guess I just felt like rambling :)
Piggy-back is fine. I use an Iphone 12mini for macro shots. I think it does an excellent job for every INat subject, except birds. The Live features allows capturing action shots, like birds taking off-very fun. Best of all, each photo is geotagged.
Not built-in, but I use the Geotag Photos Pro app. So long as you remember to set the app going to record your trip, and the phone/camera clocks are in sync it’s really extremely quick to geotag the photos on your laptop prior to upload. Solved the issue for me - and much cheaper!
I have a Sony rx10 IV, which doesn’t have a built in GPS, but you can connect it to your phone and it will use your phone’s GPS to tag photos. I think this is becoming more common in newer cameras since most people have a GPS in their pocket these days.
Here’s an excellent review, by Bryan Pfeiffer, of bridge cameras for birding.
There is only one bridge camera available that has both a built in GPS and an excellent zoom (83x), and that is the Nikon P900. I’ve been extremely pleased with mine. Unfortunately, the P900 is out of production, and the more recent P950 and P1000 do not have the built in GPS (and are heavier). There are used P900s available online, @graysquirrel has told us she bought hers on eBay, but they getting harder to find and therefore more expensive (anything under $500 for a working P900 is a pretty good deal).
Thanks for sharing. This app is just what I needed!
My experience with GPS built-in is that it takes a long time (sometimes way, way too long) for the camera to get hold of the satellite signals. So I just went with using a phone app to capture GPS and sync later (super easy to do). That way, you can select the camera based on features that really matter for taking good photos and ease of use.
I second @dlevitis’s recommendation of the Nikon p900 if you can get ahold of one. The GPS is pretty accurate, comes online quickly, and the camera has a pretty good zoom too.
I used to use a phone app like @pfau_tarleton mentions when I had my previous camera, but the accuracy left a lot to be desired. 9/10 would be pretty close to where I took them, but about 1/10 would randomly be 50 or more miles off for no discernable reason. I’m not sure if it was a problem with canon’s app, or what, but it was really irritating.
Sometimes my GPS location (tagged on images taken with my phone) will be totally off. Just a bad signal at that moment I think. If you have several readings over time as you move you can figure out what it was supposed to be.
Thank you! That’s a very good camera reviews website. The Nikon P610 w built-in GPS is looking good.
With the P900, I’ve never had it take more than a minute, and usually not more than 15 seconds, to acquire a GPS location (unless I’m underground or similar).
Thank you for the lead to excellent Bryan Pfeiffer website. Very helpful tips and reviews. I liked his comment “first consider who you are in nature” before buying a camera.
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